Back at the Canal Room in Tribeca, it was photo-op city. Hip-hop fans were raising hell at a record-release party for scenester DJ Mark Ronson, and JCâ€”clad in a navy blue Fred Perry tracksuit, Hanes tank top and Kangol capâ€”was at ease in a sea of weed smoke, women and celebs. Mos Def snuck through the VIP section unnoticed by fans, R&B starlet Tweet mugged for paparazzi, and singer Maxwell looked very sexual-chocolate in a choo-choo-train hat and snug trousers.
Lonnie Jones positioned himself beside JC at the beginning of the evening and rarely left his side after that. â€œI keep people from bothering him and help things stay cool,â€ Lonnie says. He likes his job. â€œWorking for JC couldnâ€™t be any easier. I canâ€™t think of anybody who is more low maintenance.â€ Indeed, the pop starâ€”who started out in the dance world battling at NYC clubs when he was 15 years old, the was cast in the Mickey Mouse Club with Britney, Christina, and Justinâ€”seems carefree. Since â€˜nsync delivered their fourth album, Celebrity, two years ago, JC has started to work for himself. The release date for his solo debut keeps getting pushed back, and itâ€™s not clear why. But whatever the reason, it doesnâ€™t matter tonight. Heâ€™s ringmaster of a 15-person entourage, just going along for the ride. When people ask him about plans, heâ€™s reticent. â€œask Noak,â€ he says, referring to his friend, nightlife lion Noah Tepperberg. â€œNoah knows whatâ€™s next.â€
What a difference 40 blocks makes. If we were club-hopping in Times Square, partying with JC would be â€¦complicated. Boy-band fever has wilted since 1999, but you can bet your Good Charlotte concert T-shirt that if they spotted JC, preteen tourists would scream until their heads, like, totally popped off, and Lonnie Jones would need to lay the smack down. Downtown, there is less titillation. There are, after all, places where people donâ€™t notice a teenybop pet. â€œIf Iâ€™m drinking a beer at an Irish bar on the corner, nobody gives a @#%$ who I am,â€ JC says. â€œAt parties itâ€™s not usually a problem.â€ But that doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s never a problem. â€œSometimes people notice and it can get weird,â€ the 27-year old admits: â€œIt only takes one girl to set it off around a party: â€˜Heâ€™s from nsync! Oooh, ooohâ€™ At a place like this, itâ€™s easier. People might notice who I am, but nobody makes a fuss.â€
Another reason JC gets fuss-free partying is because Lonnie Jones, Pete, Jive guy Carlos Vega and Carlos Melgajeco (JCâ€™s best friend, roommate and manager) take fine care of him. Tepperberg, who cuts through velvet ropes lickety-split, is also an asset. Finding more fun is never a problem.
â€œNoah and Jason hook me up,â€ he says gesturing to Tepperberg and his partner Jason Strauss, who met JC last summer at the Tepperberg-helmed PlayStation2 Hotel in the Hamptons. Indeed, Noahâ€™s a glue that holds parties together, pouring drinks for a pack of pretty girls. (Alexis is a writer for People, Kim is a model/personal trainer, Saskia plays professional soccerâ€”thereâ€™s also Morgan, Mary Ann and a few others.) Sean Paulâ€™s â€œGet Busyâ€ thumps loudly; $1,000-per-hour DJs label this genre â€œparty classics and hip-hopâ€; everybody else knows it as â€œwedding music.â€
â€œYou wanna bounce?â€ JC asks as the party dies down at Canal Room. It does seem like a good time to bounce. On our way outside, Lonnie barks, â€œWeâ€™re hitting the doorâ€ to what seems like no one. Then I notice a cord squirreling from his ear and a wrist microphone inside his big sleeve. The Tahoe is idling a few steps from the door.
When we land at Lotus, JC is almost forgotten in the hustle. â€œHey, can I get out?â€ he asks, trapped in the backseat of the truck. â€œGuys? Hey, let me out.â€ Inside the club, rich yuppies disco dance, and waitresses are supremely attentive. A song called â€œGet Lowâ€ by Lilâ€™ Jon and the Eastside Boyz starts playing, and people cheer. JC stands, steps onto a banquette and starts grooving and singing along. Later, he bemoans the track choice. â€œâ€™Get Lowâ€™ is an amazing song, but the DJ playedthe clean version. The good parts were bleeped out,â€ he says. â€œIn the real version the lyrics are â€˜To the window, to the wall/To the sweat drip down my balls.â€™ Itâ€™s awesome, totally funny.â€ Sweaty balls, sure thing!
Itâ€™s odd to see Justin Timberlakeâ€™s wingman partying like mad. Heâ€™s super-duper famous, yet people donâ€™t really know who he is, and that seems to work out well for him. Heavy-duty celebs like Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts might guzzle Veuve at P. Diddyâ€™s private after-parties and loaf around Soho House every once in a while, but they donâ€™t have this much fun in public. Maybe theyâ€™re too famous, maybe theyâ€™re too boring, maybe theyâ€™re just over it. JC isnâ€™t. Heâ€™s dancing and chatting, and itâ€™s just rightâ€”until itâ€™s not, at which point we decide itâ€™s time to leave.
When the bill is given to JC, Lonnie swiftly whips out a flashlight and shines it on the slip of paper which JC signs quickly before stepping to the door. Outside Bungalow 8 a few minutes later, somebody says, â€œGreat. Now we can go and listen to the same music we just heard.â€ Itâ€™s true. Thereâ€™s more Sean Paul, George Michael, more â€œHey Yaâ€ by Andre 3000 inside. Itâ€™s almost 4 a.m. and the Jive publicist is cavorting with his co-worker Tanielle. Amy Saccoâ€™s chatting with a mysterious white-haired man in a booth. JCâ€™s friends swear they recognize the man, but they canâ€™t quite place his face.
Itâ€™s hard not to be smitten with his scene, where people dance hard and smile big, as if the world is all beach houses and heli-pads, with no problems to deal with. Case in point: the Bee Gees â€œstayin alive.â€ When this song comes on at other clubs (barring, say, Polly Estherâ€™s and Culture Club), guests typically abandon the dancefloor in revolt. How pedestrian, they think. When it starts playing tonight, the crowd gets busier then ever. They love â€œStayinâ€™ Aliveâ€ so much itâ€™s almost punk rock. Embracing the weathered Saturday Night Fever theme is the pop life. Thereâ€™s no pretense here, not tonight. And that might be the coolest thing of all.
â€œWorking for JC couldnâ€™t be any easier. I canâ€™t think of anybody who is more low maintenance.â€
thats my boy
okay yeah ill see if i can post some stuff over the next couple of days
does anyone else wanna post stuff?
cuz im not gonna be on here as often anymore
and i want the JC board to have some life